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Economics Research Institute Study Paper




Utah State University Department of Economics

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The North Pacific Ocean is highly productive, hosting many of the world's largest groundfish populations and supporting a thriving fishing industry. Numerous regulations have been implemented to control the incidental take of non-target bycatch. Individual and Pooled Bycatch Quotas have recently been proposed as instruments that could further encourage the avoidance of such bycatch and increase enforceability of by catch caps at less-than-entire-fishery levels of operation. The recent advent of fishing cooperatives such as the Pacific Whiting Conservation Cooperative and the Pollock Conservation Cooperatives create an additional impetus for examining the characteristics of pool and vessel specific bycatch quotas. We have constructed an object-oriented, hierarchical simulation that allows us to aggregate hauls of individual fish, up to single vessels, vessel pools, fleets (pools of vessel pools), and the entire fishery. This simulator is written in the object-oriented programming language, Java. It provides the flexibility to examine various sampling techniques and strategies and allows us to follow the precision of incidental catch estimates at various levels of operation. In particular, we examine the tradeoffs between the precision of bycatch estimates and consider management costs as observer coverage and pool size are varied.